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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Living a constant vacation


-Living a constant vacation-

I love taking vacations. More than just taking time away from work, vacations represent a short season of “no real responsibility.” If done right, they provide greater levels of freedom, and thus exhilaration for my personality style.

The vacation “zygote” is conceived, usually, when we start discussing how bogged down we’ve been, and how bad we want a vacation. As the “reasoning cells” begin to split, and multiply, the conversation quickly grows to a burning need, with adequate justification. Sometimes, this process could take weeks. Sometimes, this process could take only a few moments… but the important thing is that after adequate incubation time, we give birth to fully developed reason WHY.

Once a solid reason WHY we want a vacation is agreed upon, the next thing we debate on is WHERE we should go? Warm and tropical? Mountainous and arid?

WHO will join us? Couples vacation? Family vacation? Just the two of us? Does the boy come too? (if not, we certainly enlist a grandparent or two to baby-sit)

WHAT do we need to do to ensure we’ve got all the necessary resources in place? Money? Time off? Book babysitter?

HOW can we afford this? Do we need to set aside some cash? What does the budget have left in it? (we pre-plan for our vacations, annually) Will we use frequent flyer points for airfare?

I/we probably spend more time thinking about the vacation on the front end than when we are actually on the vacation. I truly believe this is because the WHY is so connected to us. We have taken the time to fully develop a clear cut vision for WHY this vacation is necessary, and allowed that WHY to usher us through the laborious process of WHERE, WHO, WHAT, and HOW.

We have purpose. With a purpose that is well developed and connected to our spirit, we will find a way to accomplish this.

~~~~ QUESTION ~~~~

What if we approached all areas of our life with this same process?

Do you believe God placed you on this planet for a reason? For purpose?

How has God wired you?

This fruitful journey of discovery for me has revealed God’s purpose for my life (through the best of my knowledge and comprehension) to be this:

To bring Glory to His throne through innovating and giving start-up/thrust energy.

This statement/purpose/calling stirs up something special within me. I am fired up to chase this calling. When I engage in activities that utilize this calling, time simply flies by, and I leave with MORE energy than when I started.

This is what I was made to do.

What if God revealed His WHY is all areas of my life? What would I do with it? Would I engage in planning the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW questions?

Recent areas that I’ve scoured the scriptures for, in planning my life wheel out:

1. God
2. Marriage
3. Parent
4. Financial
5. Physical
6. Mental
7. Vocation/work
8. Social

With a strong enough purpose (WHY), what fruit would be born from your “life tree” if we were to approach it with the same fervency as planning a vacation?

Could this be the “full life” Jesus refers to in John 10:10?

Perhaps aligning our lives to our calling would make life seem like a constant vacation? ☺

Monday, June 21, 2010

Psalm 139

Psalm 139 (NLV)
For the choir director: A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, LORD.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!
7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
19 O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers!
20 They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
21 O LORD, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
22 Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

This is my prayer, O Lord. Search my heart, reveal to me your good and perfect will. I surrender my plans, my dreams, my goals, my strategy, my life to your feet. Take my life, refine it with your fire, and give back only that which you want me to use to bring Glory to Your Throne. My thoughts distract me, but you remain constant. My fears overwhelm me at times, but you are still there calling.

If there is one thing I can do… only one thing I can do… it is to cling to the calling you continue to reveal to me. I hear the music, Lord. I hear you playing and calling out to me. Help me to trust you and follow you.

Spirit of doubt, you have no place here. I command you to leave in JESUS name!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Be Careful What you Pray For!


Be careful what you pray for!

Be careful what you pray for! Wow, our God is sooo big. Lately, in my prayer life, I’ve been envisioning a great and majestic throne, the size of several skyscrapers. I picture myself walking up to this ginormous throne, laden with silver, gold, platinum, and ornate design. As I approach the throne, which seems to be large no matter how far away from it I am, I hear the echoing chants like a coliseum of fans all chanting the same rhythmic saying. “Holy Holy Holy, Holy Holy Holy…” It is as if no words can fully encapsulate the utter respect, awe, and agape love they have for The ONE who sits on the throne. This ONE, the great I AM, the Yah-Weh, the God Almighty is the one we come before every time we pray. We are approaching the magnificent throne of the Most High, whom all the nations bow before, and every tongue confesses is Greater and more Holy than anything that ever was, is, or will be. This is the God we pray to.

And the best part of all… He calls me “FRIEND!” (John 15:15)

God wants to talk to me, like a friend would. He wants to be my #1 lover, #1 counselor, #1 friend. He wants that first place seating in my heart and my desires. Not forcefully… no way. He wants ME to want Him.

Be careful what you pray for! Too often, I bring my plans to Him for a “quick blessing.” My prayer go something like this: “Dear God, bless me as I go out on the road today. Bless the meetings I’ve booked. Bless my family in my absence today, as I cannot be with them. Bless ____, Bless ____. In Jesus’ name, amen!” Perhaps I fall into this habit, because my flesh thinks of God as some “cosmic vending machine.” “Dear machine, I need an A-3, a B-2, and a C-9, thanks.”

No. Our God is bigger. Our God is greater.

Our God wants our hearts, not our needs.

With this perspective, I surrender plans for ministry. With this perspective, I surrender plans for my family. With this perspective, I surrender plans for business. With this perspective, I surrender all.

“Lord, you know the plans you have for me, perfectly. (Jer 29:11) I trust you, completely, and know that you have YOUR best in mind for me. Take my heart, and shape it, mold it, form it. Take my soul and do Your Will. Protect me from the paths You do not want me to walk down… and Usher me down the paths You do. Not my will, plan, or strategy, but YOURS be done. Prov. 16.9. Show me who you’ve made me to be, God, only so I can bring more Honor and Glory to your perfect throne. (John 17:4) I so desperately desire my ALL (actions, thoughts, words, beliefs, leadership, ethic, EVERYTHING) to shout out to You: ‘Holy Holy Holy, Holy Holy Holy.’ Exhale ‘me’, so that I may inhale Yah-Weh. Your Name, Your Renown, IS the desire of my soul. (Isaiah 26:8) In the majestic name of Jesus, AMEN.”

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I enjoy...

Day 12: List my dreams and passions.

What is it you find naturally enjoyable? If money were not important, what would you spend your time doing? When do you find the time just flying by? What are those recurring themes that keep coming up in your thinking? What did you enjoy as a child but perhaps have been told was unrealistic or impractical to focus on as a career?

I use to love collecting baseball cards, then determining their value. I would monitor them week after week, to discover how the value of each card had changed, the loved selling them when their value spiked. I loved sowing these seeds.

I loved making the ordinary extraordinary. From small business ventures to how I presented my reports at school. My excitement came from differentiation from the competition. I was thrilled to make mine “better” than the next guy.

This may sound vein, but as a kid I use to love to wash my money too. I would iron it and press it flat. For a few Christmases in a row, I remember asking for a simple stack of one dollar bills, because I liked seeing my pile grow.

Today, I enjoy winning at poker because I can see my chip stack grow. I love dominating the table and playing a winning streak.

I also enjoy time with my son and wife. I especially enjoy our long walks together.

I enjoy playing my iPod (sermons or talks) and jamming out household chores.

I enjoy vacations, and reading a good positive thinking book while laying in the sun and relaxing.

I enjoy coaching co-workers in handling situations. I enjoy handling HR situations.

I enjoy developing the first of something, better.

I enjoy listening to sermons that compel me.

I enjoy balancing my home budget and strategically planning for expenses.

I enjoy reading my bank statement, and counting my money.

I enjoy “numbers” and business math.

Personality Styles


Day 11: Personality Styles

Over the past 9 years, I have done quite a bit of study on the subject of personality styles and traits. I can remember the first seminar I attended, where this topic was discussed in very applicable and understandable terms, as well. If I recall, I was at a function down in South Bend, Indiana, where Robert Rohm (published psychologist) taught the four personality profiles to a group of 1500 or so people. He first started out by asking the room, “do you consider yourself more outgoing or reserved?” Depending on which you answered, you were to stand at a polar opposite side of the room. Then he subsequently asked “are you more task oriented or people oriented?” Again, the room divided, this time into adjacent quadrants. From standing next to those most like us, he proceeded to teach the different between the D, I, S, and C personality profiles. From this point forward, my awareness of my own strengths/weaknesses, as well as that of others, has helped me better communicate and understand people with a greater level of emotional intelligence.

A brief summary of the DISC styles, from my perspective:

D: Dominant, demanding, controlling, driven to success, “force a square block into a round hole.”, shoots first and doesn’t stop to ask questions. FIRE! Ready! Aim?

I: Inspirational, pied piper, motivational, enthusiastic. Loves to make others laugh and have fun with them. Ready? Okay, no seriously, are YOU ready? Hehehe. Okay, here we go… READY!!?? ☺ Aim… no seriously! AIM the thing. Hahaha!

S: Submissive, supportive. Super loyal and trustworthy. Great CSRs, support staff. Will avoid conflict at all cost. Ready if you are. You want me to aim? Okay, tell me when to fire, and where to fire at. I’m here to help!

C: Cautious, calculative, critical thinker. This person stoically processes information, at times. GREAT poker face. Little emotion, tons of logic. Scientists, mathematicians, lab techs. Ready? Aim. Aim. Aim. Aim. Aim.

Fast Forward.

Here I am, 9 years later. I hang a photocopy of the DISC quadrants outside my office door, with the “D” highlighted boldly. It serves as a daily reminder to me that I must slow down and have patience with people. Okay, to tell the truth, I probably hung it up there more to give a warning flair to those wishing to gain my attention. Perhaps, it is a passive aggressive way of me saying “be short, quick, and to the point. I don’t have time for your ‘fluff.’” (admittedly an abuse of the system.)

The point is, I truly see myself as a HIGH D, especially under pressure and stress. I do not dislike being a D. Quite frankly, it comes very naturally for me, at work.

When the pressure is off, I probably lean more toward an “I.” For instance, when I am at someone ELSE’s party, I tend to have a blast, talking and socializing.

Recently, I asked a panel of my Facebook friends to describe my personality traits in a few word. Here are some of the responses that came in:

Bold, kind, outgoing, friendly to all, extemporaneous (spoken or done without preparation), passionate, spontaneous!!, talkative, the ability to always see the positive in things, a friend, integrity, determined, charismatic, funny.

Very interesting to note that my self perception of being a High D, moderate I may be inverse to those who know me on a social level… To them, it would appear (based on their feedback alone) that I present myself as a higher I, and lower D.


Perhaps I have learned to tone back my “D?” Perhaps I am most fulfilled when I can be an “I?” Perhaps “D” is not as “natural” as I want it to be? Perhaps a combination of all three? I would note that a few of the responses seemed as though they reflected a common personality trait between the responder and me. Could it be that we tend to see reflections of ourselves in other people, for the good or the bad?

The key to remember here is not all people are wired with the same personality style. Additionally, a person could very easily contain any combination or mixture of these styles woven into their unique makeup.

Each style has a blessing and a curse. From my perspective, here is a quick list of blessings and curses inbred to the for primary personality styles:

D: Blessing- Decisive Curse- steps on toes without thinking about it
I: Blessing- Inspirational Curse- Impulsive
S: Blessing: Supportive Curse- People pleasing
C: Blessing- Critical thinking Curse- (overly) Cautious… to the point of paralysis

It is the responsibility of the emotionally intelligent to recognize and adapt to create a comfortable environment for genuine communication with another person. NOT manipulate, and NOT imitate.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 9: Eagle or Owl?

Day 9: Am I an Eagle or an Owl?

I’ve attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit in years past, where Bill Hybels talked on discovering your “Holy Discontent.” From memory, discovering this “zone” of service, a follower of Christ would discover what gives them the greatest sense of calling and passion. For instance, some people get all riled up when social injustices are discussed, and thus could conclude their holy discontent has something to do with social injustice. I remember thinking during this talk, “what is MY Holy Discontent?”

At the time, I served in the children’s ministry at our family’s church. I recall feeling compelled to show the love of Christ to kids who may not otherwise have seen it. I would take my drama character and gain the attention of kids with it. Then would take extra time to tell them Jesus loves them. I would spend time with them in the small group classrooms, and lead Bible discussions with them, in “kid talk” languages, so they understood how much God loves them.

Now, in a book I just read, I’ve learned Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about discovering your “divine discontent.” He describes it on the flip side of my understanding of “Holy Discontent” as a state of knowing that what you are doing is NOT walking out of the life plan God has for us. When we serve, work, or lead in a capacity that simply is NOT suited for our unique gift set, we feel unfulfilled and unsettled. For instance, someone may be wired by God to be an amazing artist… but if they choose to be a doctor, they would be serving out side of God’s perfect calling/zone for them. This would be an illustration of “divine discontent.”

May prayer on this journey is that God would reveal to me what he has wired me for. I know that it is not likely I will have an angel come down and hand me a strategic game plan for my life, however. The good news is, I believe God has given me many clues, hints, and direction arrows along the way.

In a vision the LORD gave me a little more than a year ago, I learned that the “overlap” of our skills, our passions, our spiritual gifts, and an opportunity that suites those would ignite the greatest level of energy and effectiveness within us. As I processed this vision, the question keep coming up… “am I living in this overlap?”

Here’s what I do know: I have skills & abilities, personality tendencies, and dreams & passions. I have opportunities as well, and as of recent I’ve discovered that opportunities could change frequently throughout my life. Here’s a quick list of what God has revealed to me thus far:

• Strategic planning
• Communicating
• Networking & relationships
• Innovation and creativity
• Street smart business savvy
• Public speaking / presentations
• Financial management, goal setting
• Selling, prospecting
• Coaching / mentoring at root issue
• Startup business / groups
• Give “burst/thrust energy”

Personality tendencies:
• I’m a natural high “D” personality style
• I naturally take charge of a group effort, without it feeling forced
• I have been wired with a higher tolerance for risk, while calculating the reward/benefit
• I am strategic thinker, who can guide group discussions toward a common goal
• At times, I can be very direct. Shooting first, and not even stopping to ask questions later.

• My second highest personality trait is the “I” style.
• I can laugh and have a good time with people
• When I don’t have responsibility on my shoulders, I tend to be more free spirited and fun loving
• I can creatively solve an issue/problem/need, with out of the box solutions
• I get bored with the same ol’ same. I like to try new things.

Values, Dreams, Passions:

• John 17:4: “I have brought glory to God, by completing the works he gave me to do.” - As of this most recent year, I am passionate about leading with scripture.
• I have a dream of owning many different self sustaining businesses, that generate revenue, but require very little attention from myself.
• I love freedom to work when I wish, and have family time when I wish.
• I am passionate about “re-inventing” the ordinary to becoming extra-ordinary.

So what does this all mean? I really feel that God has wired me to be a change agent. One who brings innovation and new ideas to the table, that make sense. God has also given me the ability to do something with those ideas.

With this in mind, I ask myself: “Am I fully functioning as God designed me?” In some ways, yes, and in some ways no. The challenge will be finding ways to spend 80% of my time doing activities that DO overlap my “zone.” But how do I delegate other activities off my plate? Who takes them on? Do I need to help my team discover their “zone” too? What if we don’t have the right people on our “bus?” All questions that I truly hope God answers…

Friday, June 4, 2010




In terms of leadership, any area of your life wheel can so easily become crippled with indecision. Now, I’m not saying that impulse is the way to go… though I am definitely prone to this vice. But I am saying that a decision must be reached, in order for judgment calls to be made. I am challenged with the idea of “making decisions up front,” so as to not have refigure the pros/cons every time, independently. For instance, if I make a decision up front / proactively that I will not leverage debt for any business gain, then when the time comes to upgrade equipment, or purchase a new delivery vehicle… the decision is a foregone conclusion.

Similarly, in my marriage relationship with my wife, if I make the decision up front to pray every morning with her before leaving for work, then the act of doing so becomes a natural habit.

I’ve recently devoured a sermon series by Andy Stanley talking about “Guardrails” in our life. Andy’s contention is that if we set up protective guardrails (pre-decisions) and hold ourselves accountable to them, then we greatly increase our chances to continue functioning, as we feel called.

Now, that sounds great in text book format… but thinking in terms of real life…

When I was 22 years old, I had built a modest multi-level marketing business up. From graduation of high school at 18, to this date, I had assembled roughly 125 people in my organization and received too much admiration for a young adult to handle. Being the approval addict that I was, I very quickly found myself chasing achievements to only get another “atta boy” or “how did you do it, Rob” from the next person in line. My definition of success was, indeed, tainted with my flesh pattern of this approval addiction.

While the waves of emotions were naturally interlaced into this venture, I found myself losing heart toward the 3rd year of involvement. I was in a destructive relationship with an ex-girlfriend, my health was the worst it had ever been, and my “inner circle” relationship had begun to deteriorate. I found my identity slowly becoming fake, veneer… even a painted image of what I felt other people wanted to see. I was unsettled, unhappy, and empty.

Pride was the catalyst for my indecision to resign from my multi-level marketing business. Pride comes before they fall (Proverbs 16:18). For the final 12 months of “building my dream business” I found myself indecisive on when to step away, how to step away, what would I step into, what would other people think of me. The inner turmoil was crippling and debilitating to all other areas on my life wheel. Relationships crumbled, my perception of God was reduced to a cosmic vending machine, I was heavier than I had ever been, and the only friendships I had were from people who wanted something from me or those I wanted something from.

Indecision is poison. For me, in this case, it greatly distracted me from the pursuit of a God-Sized calling on my life. But now I know.

What I’m learning is that leaders, entrepreneurs, business people have to MAKE THE CALL sometimes. It isn’t always easy, but we must make a decision.

The key is not simply making the decision, but pre-establishing “guardrails” and/or methods in HOW you will make the decision. A simple approach to this could be:

1. Pray for clarity and the Holy Spirit’s intervention
2. State the problem
3. Get the advice and opinions of others
4. List the alternatives
5. Choose the BEST alternative (not always perfect)
6. ACT.

I will chose, from this day forth, to stand up to the decisions that must be made. My prayer is that God would lead me to make clear decisions that bring Glory to Him.

Don’t have much time to type the details of this, but one of my staff members just came in my office to check in. Unsolicited, they told me how frustrating it has been for them to deal with the indecisiveness of our current President of this company. I allowed this staff member to explain, and the core issue of indecisiveness has confused team members for the past 10+ years. This person also told me that they endorse my vision, and drive to lead the company well. That is a very quick recap, but interesting to note in light of my previously typed thoughts….

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Affirmation #3


-Affirmation #3-

Another man of God that I respect greatly and has inspired me for the past few years returned my call today. 11 years ago he came through a similar transition time: sensing God’s calling and infusing it into his life wheel. He has been where I am, and knows how I feel.

I shared with him that God has shown me a calling on my life is greater than any job, or career. It isn’t fenced in by titles, or by responsibilities. I told him my calling was “to bring Glory to the Throne of God by innovating and bringing start up energy to projects.”

He shared with me a recent lesson he had learned regarding four personality styles:
1. Innovation / idea people – the vision people
2. Project people- build the project then place it in sustainers hands
3. People people- the talkers and relaters
4. Task people- the git r done folks
He said we have to assemble teams of volunteers in any ministry with all of these styles of personalities to be effective. Ideally, your team would be assembled with people who overlap a few of these, so as to not have total “silos” built up.

This man of God validated my latest revelations, stating “What you have described is 100% true and appropriate, and I affirm everything you say, Rob.”

He then mentioned how he could see me helping to coach the “Rob’s” of new church plants and ministries. He said the focus for too long, has been exclusively on the church planter (pastor), and not on the #2 guy who helps the pastor get the vision accomplished.

He asked me to consider what I would say to a group of 10 #2 church plant people in a room if I were to speak to them. How would I encourage them?

He asked me to keep thinking on these things, and continuing to pray through them.

God continues to open doors and affirm and validate this vision. I almost am beginning to feel like our Heavenly Father’s field, where he is tending and adding the right amount of vision (dream), nutrients (logas/rhema) and light (hope) and water (spiritual mentorship). When will this flower bloom? Is it blooming now? What is the crop going to look, feel, act, taste like? I’m surrendered. Your will not mine be done God.

A visit with a Sage...


What a blessing yesterday was. Some good friends stopped by to drop off a meal to us, and visit with our newborn son for a few minutes. Taking this as an opportunity to grow my social area of my life wheel, I didn’t shy away from sitting down in the living room for a bit and chatting. We talked weather, ministry, kids, baby raising, and all things under the sun! Awesome.

Then the question was asked of me: “How’s work going?”

Boy oh boy, our friend had no ideas what she was asking when she placed this invitation on the table. Did I blow her away with relentless details of every lesson God had given to me in the past few weeks? Not exactly. I did, however get a chance to share with them a brief summary of this exciting journey God had been ushering me through. Some great feedback she and her husband gave to me:

• God has uniquely wired me with a rare skill set, and a unique spiritual gift mix to be able to see a vision for starting up new ventures
• Consider working for other companies or other people to learn lessons that I could not learn while employed with my existing company.
• They encouraged me that I was on the right path, and that I should continue to seek God’s calling
• They endorsed my approach to searching Logas for Rhema, in guiding our family decisions and actions into this new venture.

God has truly placed people of great vision and wisdom in my path, and refined me with their experience. Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 7: Yesterday, I spoke with an Usher

Day 7: Yesterday, I spoke with an Usher…

Last night on my way home from working the day with my primary client (employer,) I had the opportunity to speak with a mentor of mine. This person has truly been an inspiration to me in how he has lead his family to pursue God’s calling on their lives. One of the many ways this person had inspired me in the past is when he voluntarily left a safe secure “job” at one church to simply “go to the land the Yah-Weh would show him.” He didn’t know what that would mean, he didn’t know where that would be… but he simply WENT, because he felt God calling his family to do that. After not days, not weeks, not months, and not a year, but rather after 3 years, God ushered he and his family into that “promised land.” Awesome story of faith. More than that… awesome story of God’s FAITHFULNESS!

I served with this disciple of Jesus in a young adult ministry for approximately 3 years, on his assembled leadership team. Jeremy and I would meet frequently for coffee, lunch, or in his office to discuss ministry and my involvement in various ways. He got to experience my spirit of innovation first hand, and sit in “round table discussions” with me to hear how I process. He is a man I respect greatly, and thus chose to call him to simply spew what God has been doing in my life recently. No expectations. No “fishing for a certain response.” Just wanted to inform him. I hoped, that by doing so, I would only solidify my own understanding of what God was doing, and begin to “own” it more and more with each word I spoke.

I told Jeremy that God was shaping my perspective of work. My most recent revelation has been deciphering the difference between “what I do” and “who I become.” God has a plan for “who I become.” I think of it as His CALLING on my life. A cow gives glory to God when it functions as cow! If the farm is full of chickens, the cow could very easily feel like he is suppose to be a chicken because everyone else is!... but NO. this is a lie. A cow glorifies God when it becomes and functions as God intended it to. Ultimately, this “zone” is most satisfying for a cow anyway! I told Jeremy that I feel my life’s vocation/calling may be “to bring Glory to God by innovating and giving start-up life and energy.”

Here is a bullet point summary of his response:

• I am an energizing force to a room, with emotional intelligence and sensitivity PLUS enthusiasm
• The vocation/calling I shared with him “definitely resonates with him.”
• As I pursue opportunities to serve within my calling, always ask myself “does this fit with my priorities?” (family, ministry, etc)
• Be thinking how things could be improved- perhaps as a consultant
• Look for opportunities to practice / beta test this type of work out
• Perhaps consider ministry consultant work?

And here is the big silver bullet for me:
• If I can step in to a project, coach and build it, then step away without guilt and KNOW that I am doing what God has called me to do, then I’d be in the zone.

This whole approach to understanding what God is up to has been so awesome. It truly IS counterintuitive for me to slow down and have a discussion with others about what I feel God doing, but the fruit from this tree has been so rich so far.

My prayer is that God continues to usher me down the path he already has built. I do not want to bring MY PLAN to Him for blessing, rather, I want to unconditionally accept HIS PLAN… whatever it ends up being.

Glory to God. With everything that I become. John 17:4

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 6: Vocation, Career and Job

Day 6

I’m fulfilling a task from 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller here:

I need to tell you about the difference between vocation, career, and job.

A vocation is a high calling from God. For instance, someone may be called to “reduce pain in people.” and follow that calling multiple ways, such as becoming a doctor, therapist, counselor, etc. The calling by God is greater than any avenue someone might use to pursue it. In my case, I’m feeling called to “innovate and give startup life” (at least I think that is the greater calling God anointed me with.) So, according to the book, my Vocation would be “innovate and give startup life”. So far, I’ve pursued Lemonade refreshment stations (age 8), door to door garage sales (age 6), BMG Music Club CD Sales through my middle school (age 11), Home baked Cookie distribution at elementary school (age 7), Baseball Card startup business in my parent’s basement (age 9), differentiation in my approach for employment at Byron Hills Golf Course (age 15, had 2 letters of recommendation and treated this approach like a career), 3rd Key manager at Sam Goody (age 16), Department leader at Old Navy (age 17), Quixtar business growth (age 18-21), Selling home mortgages (age 19), Innovating new marketing approaches and growing sales territory (age 24-present).

I am simply drawn to start up, risk taking, NEW situations that require more out of me than I’ve ever given. I am alive as a worker when I’m engaging these types of activities. I get bored and lose interest when the “new-ness” wears off. (Except for my marriage, of course.) True vocation SHOULD solicit passion and energy, as it is God’s ultimate design for us. God blesses us when we do what He has called us to do!

Essentially, a vocation is a calling to great to be packaged by any one career, or job. Very few business professionals that I’ve met take the time to focus on vocation/calling first, then career. Many people I’ve known over the years go to school to “become a lawyer, or doctor, or realtor.” I’ve not once heard someone say they were going to school to pursue their calling to become “someone who gives life to new projects.”

A career is a bit different from vocation.

If I understand correctly, a career, it is a particular avenue that we take to accomplish our vocation. Careers are NOT our spiritual identity. Kind of like a vehicle to the destination, but NOT the destination itself. A person could have a handful of careers over their lifetime, hopefully bringing himself closer to the destination (vocation.) This is good advice for people who use to work in the auto industry before the floor fell out from under it. CAREERS DO NOT DEFINE YOUR CALLING. Your CALLING should define your CAREER!

Now on to the job. A job is simply our daily function. In a dentist’s case, their job is drilling teeth, filling cavities, or checking x-rays. In my case, I sell product, call on prospects, lead organizations, strategerize over the next TPS reports. I also minister, counsel, lead in the home, manage my property (lawn mowing, etc), and balance my personal budget. These are all jobs, that should stem from a career choice, that absolutely must fulfill my vocation/calling that God has placed on my life.

My Vocation:
“To bring Glory to God by: innovating and giving startup life” – John 17:4